Will 2016 start with a bang?

By Arjen on 22 December 2015 · 1

Around 5 centimeters of freshies came down in the pre-Alps in Switzerland and France above 2000 meters. But the visibility was bad, the temperaturs were high and the snowcover was wet or humid up to 2000 meters. The nocturnal cooling will make the snow cover very hard and we'll have to wait before the sun softens the snow a little bit. The winter of 14/15 didn't start good either, but ended really well. Let's forget about the start of winter 15/16. It's still nine days until New Year and weather maps aren't showing any changes. You'll have to go to North America this week or to the west of Norway next week to ride some powder. Winter in the Alps will start again in 2016.

Looking back: 5 cm of freshies and bad visibility

A weak cold front passed the northwestern Alps on Tuesday. It result in about 5 centimeters of snow, but with extraordinaty temperatures. The conditions below 2000 meters didn't improve and it's really hard to find good snow. Check out this picture of St. Anton am Arlberg below. It looks bloody April.

St. Anton am Arlberg
St. Anton am Arlberg

This week: some clouds, some sun, some precipitation, but high temperatures

Next week will be a week to forget. The temperaturs remain high, and in the meantime a Genoa-low and glances a cold front north of the Alps. But it won't bring any fireworks. It won't bring any chances, so this week better be over quick. The faster we speed towards the end of the year, the sooner we know when The Big Chance will happen.

The Big Change around New Year

I explained to you yesterday that a very strong Polar Vortex is the cause of the long drought in the Alps. I have then explained that this can take a long time because of the self-reinforcing effect of this phenomenon, but that a breakthrough normally takes place after 45-60 days. And that's why I'm increasingly hopeful that the change in the weather will come around the start of the new year. That means we'll have to wait for better times, but you now also know that the change is coming. Read more about the Polar Vortex here.

Is this correct?
Is this correct?

There is one positive point. In addition to this general science the different weather models are showing The Big Change as well. It's all still very early and it certainly will not be the case that we can ride between the trees on New Year's Day, but we need that change to form the base for the rest of the season. Let's hope that the jet stream begins to meander and find his way back to the Alps in 2016. I have a good feeling about it.

For now: hold your horses. There's no good powder to be found in the Alps. Do you really want to ride powder the next couple of days? There are plenty of resorts where you can ride great powder. But unfortunately, you won't find them in the Alps. North America (especially the west) is the place to be!

Let's do this in 2016!
Let's do this in 2016!

Stay stoked


  • Jamie
    Jamie op 24 December 2015 · 02:49
    The western parts of North America are looking great just before Christmas, many mountain passes closed due to snow and Avalanche work. Ski resorts are the place to be till the snowpack settles. If you need powder then here is were you'll find it, though temps have been above normal for this time of year, i.e. Not quite champagne powder. Sorry that if you come to ski in North America our lift prices are so bloody high, but corporate America took over the ski industry in the 90's. Come on Alps, I want another vacation on your slopes.


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